Wiltshire Publications

Record audiences make this year’s Festival the ‘most successful’ yet!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 at 12:21 pm.

Festival chair Ian Cunningham with English comedian of the year, Nick Page, compere Wayne Beech and comedians Tim O’Connor and Alf.

THIS year’s Westbury Festival has been hailed ‘the most successful’ with record audiences packing out venues across the town.

With over 70 events taking place over two weeks, the festival line-up was bursting with music events, workshops, tours, arts and crafts and comedy.

Festival chair Ian Cunningham said, “We have been thrilled with the response to the festival this year. People turned up in their hundreds making this year the most successful in the festival’s ten year history.

“Venues like the Laverton and All Saints Church have seen their biggest audiences in a long time. All Saints Church in particular saw its biggest crowd in decades last Thursday at the bagpipe concert. Over 300 people came; we had to move the altar and put chairs in the chancel to make room!”

Headlining the festival were 60s’ pop group, The Bachelors – Con & Dec, who entertained a packed house at the Laverton with their many hits, while bringing the festival to a close was ‘Comedy with a Bang(er)’ and the recently-crowned ‘English Comedian of the Year’ Nick Page, who had an audience already fit to burst full of bangers and mash, clutching their sides with laughter.

Marketing and development officer at the Laverton, Lilly Bale said, “It was a sell-out crowd for the Bachelors. There were queues around the block, with 170 people waiting to get in to enjoy a night of good music. It’s been a while since we have seen such a big audience at the Laverton. It was a really good night.”

Ian Cunningham continued, “We have just finished the 10th annual Westbury Festival and it was our most successful festival on several counts. Every event was high quality, audiences were mostly large and all appreciative.

“Having Nick Page at the festival was a real coup. He and the other comedians were top-class entertainment and a great way to end the festival.

“It’s hard to have high points in such an array of success but I did enjoy: getting over 300 people into All Saints for one of the daily free lunchtime concerts; filling the Hollies for a history talk (and for that matter the Methodist Church) and being given a master class in how to warp microphone cables for easy unpacking by a 74-year-old giant of popular music at just past midnight!

“We are very grateful for support from the town – I am sure that some people attended practically every event and admire their stamina.

“I personally want to give thanks for the members of the Festival committee. Not only did they all work very hard during the year planning some 70 individual events but they all worked ludicrously hard during the last four weeks.

Those people are: Warren Harding, Radek Evans, Christine Jenkins, Ward Jones, Mike Pearce, Brenda Pyne, Mary Pyne, Jan Russ & Beth Thomas; only I really know how hard you have worked. Those who enjoyed the festival or our proud that Westbury has such a fine event owe you a huge debt as do I.

“I’d also like to thank their families as they basically loose a family member for 3 weeks and most of then get roped into helping on top of that..

“Many others have helped as stewards, first aid, runners etc. – especially Jane & Graham Lever. People at schools, venues etc. we take from so many.

“We had some fantastic acts including many wonderful people who performed for free at our free events and we thank them all for their support and tolerance & flexibility in the face of a lot of ‘juggling’.

“Many venues gave free homes to festival events: the Laverton, the Methodist Church, All Saints Church, Stormore Chapel, Army officer Selection Board, West End Chapel, the Library, the Hollies Inn.

“Thanks to our principle sponsor, Westbury Town Council, festival sponsors Hills group and Elkins Ford and sponsors of individual events, Co-operative Funeral Care, Hayne & Smith and Allen & Harris. Also thanks to our strong supporter, the White Horse News and help from Spotted Westbury & GM3 Music.

“I am sure that there are many others who should be named for thanks, so I will thank everyone who supported the festival in anyway, Westbury should be very proud to have your support.

“Having said all that, it might be wrong time to mention that we are always looking for new members. We have our first meeting for next year’s festival next week.